For a variety of reasons, our once-routine weekend excursions to B&N have become rare occurrences these past few months. So yesterday, when provided the opportunity, we happily returned to what we sometimes call our home away from home – where, as is our custom, we took up residence in the cafe for a spell. Diane sipped Fiji water and perused several books; and I chugged a high-octane caffeine drink while flipping through the British music magazines Mojo and Uncut.
Reading through the reviews, which is what I like to do, is always interesting. I usually find one, two, three or more albums I want to check out. Also, because the magazines often feature many of the same albums, reading them back-to-back can be interesting for reasons beyond just the music. What may be afforded a full-page rave in one, for instance, may be reduced to a half-paragraph slap in the other. But if something is lauded in both? It’s a good bet that it’s worth tracking down.
As a result, through the years (decades?) of such excursions, I’ve discovered much good music from both magazines – including, yesterday, Courtney Marie Andrews. She’s a 26-year-old, Arizona-born singer-songwriter who now lives outside of Seattle. Uncut referenced Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill and Emmylou Harris in its review of her recent album, Honest Life; Mojo just mentions Joni. Such lofty comparisons seem a tad unfair, but such is the shorthand used by most music fans, including myself. I’d add two more: Klara Söderberg of First Aid Kit; and Iris DeMent.
Anyway, this KEXP performance-interview features a few of her new songs plus some insights into her character and life, including the fact that at the time of the interview she was digging into the music of Townes Van Zandt and Aretha Franklin. How cool is that?
Honest Life, I should mention, is well worth the listen. I’ll be digging into it this week.